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General News of Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Source: GNA

Parliament endorses Anane as Minister

Accra, March 5, GNA- Parliament on Wednesday approved Dr Richard Winfred Anane, former Minister of Transportation, to take back the position which he resigned to contest allegations against him by a human rights commission.

The Appointments Committee of the House, which had vetted the Minister Designate earlier, recommended by consensus to the House to approve President J. A Kufuor's nominee for the position.

"Having met the requirements of the law in full, the Committee hereby recommends the nominee, by consensus to this Honourable House for approval," a report of Appointment Committee of the House said. President Kufuor again nominated in February this year Dr Anane, Member of Parliament for Nhyiaeso, as Minister for Transportation, who resigned from his position as Minister of Transportation after the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) indicted him on various offences in September

CHRAJ's decision was based on investigations into allegations of corruption, conflict of interest and abuse of power against him that led to widespread calls for his resignation to clear his name. Though Dr Anane was cleared on the allegation of corruption, the Commission recommended his removal from office.

It said this was because the findings of its investigations showed that the Minister had given contradictory figures concerning money sent to his mistress, Alexandria O'Brian, under oath before the Commission and in a prior appearance before a Parliamentary Select Committee during his vetting as Minister.

Dr Anane subsequently resigned his post and contested the matter at the High Court.

When he appeared before the Appointments Committee, the Minister Designate, who requested that his private and family life remained private, disclosed that he had to streamline the process of remittances to his son, which he had with the American mistress, in a family tribunal in the US to avoid personal mediation which could lead to disagreements in future.

Dr Anane told the Appointments Committee that the allegations by CHRAJ were unfounded, and there was no need to revisit the matter since the court had ruled on the matter and ordered that the evidence was expunged from the records.

The Nominee, who has also answered question on the road networks and how his medical profession related to the current portfolio, had told the Committee that his instinctive nature always drove him to study at all times and his profession as a surgeon had placed him in a better position to appreciate diligence and be meticulous, which he applied in all spheres of life.

Dr. Anane had observed that even though it was the prerogative of the President to nominate him in 'his heart of hearts' he was inspired his willingness to serve his country and to conform to the rule of law on Ghana's democracy.

Mr Haruna Iddrisu, in a contribution to the motion on the adoption of the report, accepted Dr Anane's return but said, it indicated a lack of capable men in the ruling New Patriotic Party, which contradicted the slogan; "We have the men".

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